Tom Paladino’s company was on the design team for the Tower at PNC in Pittsburgh and he says the project changed his life.
The Tower at PNC in Pittsburgh is being billed as the greenest office tower in the world. It has a skin that breaths, a solar chimney, a park in the sky, wood-clad porch doors, indicators that tell you what the weather is outside, and something called The Beacon – an interactive light sculpture that broadcasts data about how much energy the building is using.
The tower is shifted on the podium and street grid for maximum sun exposure. A double-walled “breathable” facade provides a thermal buffer while allowing air to pass through.
So what’s a solar chimney? It’s a vertical shaft with a rooftop solar collection panel that creates an updraft that draws cool outside air through the skin, across the floors, and up and out of the building, without requiring fans, for almost half the year.
A “living room” space links every two floors of the building, and a five-story indoor park offers views of downtown Pittsburgh.
Paladino acted as owner’s representative on sustainability and LEED management issues. The 800,000-square-foot, 33-story building was designed by Gensler to reflect PNC’s commitment to green building, energy efficiency and innovation.
The design and systems will help reduce energy consumption by 50 percent and reduce water use by 77 percent compared with a typical office building, Paladino said.
“It was ridiculously simple, and at the same time, a challenge in its aspiration,” said Tom Paladino in his blog post on the tower.
“LEED shifted from being the purpose of the green building program to being one of the desired results. We moved to a higher purpose, creating a headquarters that would serve PNC as another tool of the business.”
The building was designed to be “the most progressive workplace ever and to attract a highly social, digitally native, and an environmentally conscious work force,” Paladino said.
The Tower at PNC is built green for future generations to enjoy.
The tower cost $400 million.